There is plenty of action in the second chapter of The Man of Steel, but the mystery has little progress.
The first issue of The Man of Steel laid the groundwork for the introduction arc into Bendis’ Superman run. A long time ago, a warrior named Rogol Zaar believed Krypton would advance and take over the Galaxy. He proposes the idea to eradicate the planet to a galactic circle of elders, who shoot down the idea. In the present, we see Superman investigate a slew of fires believed to be arson while reporting it as Clark Kent. All the while, he thinks of his wife and child who has gone missing from the public. What could have happened to Clark’s family that has him so focused on his job as The Man of Steel?
**Some Spoilers Below**
Continuing the two stories of the past and present, we see both turn towards each other. In the past, the galactic circle is thrown into array due to Krypton’s destruction. One member, Lord Gandelo, blames Appa Ali Apsa for the destruction, as he was the last to see Rogol. The Guardian of the Universe then points out that if Rogol did destroy Krypton, that means an unstoppable soldier has gone rogue. In the present, Superman continues to do his jobs, both as the Man of Steel and Clark Kent. However, in both identities, he has been avoiding the topic of what happened to his family. As a result, the Justice League and the Daily Planet have begun to investigate.
There is some fun in this issue, thanks to some fantastic action scenes sprinkled throughout. The fight with Toyman reminded me how interesting of a character he is and how the battles in Superman should be larger than life. I had a big grin on my face as the Man of Steel faced off against a giant toy gorilla. It made me feel like a child reading his first comic.
There is some progression in the mystery of what happened to The Kents, but not by much. The flashback of what happened to Lois and Jon continues with the family seeing a weird alien device appear before them. As intriguing as the Rogol Zaar story is, we need answers to the mystery that has been laid out for months. This reviewer fears that the longer this mystery is dragged out, the harder it will fall.
We have a trio of artists working on this issue, and it feels a bit off. While the flashback artist does a good job, the other two have to match each other. Doc Shaner illustrates the first half, which gives off a colorful classic Superman feel, but it transitions to Steve Rude in the back half, which has gone a bit overboard regarding inks. If it were one artist or the other, it would be great, but being just different enough, it throws off the book.
While the scenes of Superman action are great, this issue was a bit of a letdown. We have been waiting for answers since DC Nation #0, but that’s a story that is being pushed further into the background. Hopefully, the mystery won’t be dragged out for much longer, or at the least be related to the other two. The Rogol Zaar and present-day Superman story are aimed towards each other; now it’s time to figure out the missing link.